Palm Springs cannabis laws

 

The following summary of Palm Springs cannabis laws is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

Medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives

Special standards for medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives are set forth in Palm Springs Municipal Code Sec. 93.23.15. (See also cultivation, definitions, taxes.)

A. No land use entitlement, permit (including building permit) approval, site plan, certificate of occupancy, zoning clearance, or other land use authorization for a Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective shall be granted or permitted except in conformance with this Section.

B. Medical Cannabis Cooperatives or Collectives shall be permitted, upon application and approval of a regulatory permit in accordance with the criteria and process set forth in this Section.

C. No Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective shall be established, developed, or operated within five hundred (500) feet of a school, public playground or park, or any residential zone property, child care or day care facility, youth center, or church, or within one thousand (1,000) feet of any other Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective, and shall not be located on any property that is occupied with a commercial retail use where such use is the primary use on such property. All distances shall be measured in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures, from the nearest point of the building or structure in which the Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective is, or will be located, to the nearest property line of those uses describe in this Subsection. Administrative modifications for this standard may be granted by the City Council pursuant to Section 94.06.01.B.

D. A Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective is not and shall not be approved as an accessory use to any other use permitted by this Zoning Code.

E. A Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective shall be parked at a rate of one (1) space for every two hundred fifty (250) gross square feet of office space, and one (1) space for every eight hundred (800) square feet of warehouse/cultivation space. Administrative modifications for this standard may be granted by the City Council pursuant to Section 94.06.01.B.

F. No more than three (3) Medical Cannabis Cooperatives and/or Collectives shall be maintained or operated in the City at any time. The City Council shall review and evaluate all qualified applications and will approve issuance of regulatory permits to the most qualified as determined through the Allotment Process described below. Where the City Council has reviewed qualified applications within three (3) years of any review and allotment proposal allowed under the provisions of this Section, the City Council may limit its review to one or more of the qualified applications reviewed and considered during such previous Allotment Process.

G. Prior to initiating operations and as a continuing requisite to conducting operations, the legal representative of the persons wishing to operate a Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective shall obtain a regulatory permit from the City Manager under the terms and conditions set forth in this Section. The legal representative shall file an application with the City Manager upon a form provided by the City and shall pay a filing fee as established by resolution adopted by the City Council as amended from time to time. An application for a regulatory permit for a Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:

1. An estimate of the size of the group of primary caregivers and/or qualified patients who will be served by the non-profit cooperative; this description should include whether delivery service will be provide and the extent of such service.

2. The address of the location from which the cooperative for which application is made will be operated;

3. A site plan and floor plan of the premises denoting all the use of areas on the premises, including storage, cultivation areas, exterior lighting, restrooms, signage, and parking; other tenant spaces if the cooperative or collective is proposed for a multi-tenant building site.

4. A security plan including the following measures:

a. Security cameras shall be installed and maintained in good working condition, and used in an on-going manner with at least 120 continuous hours of digitally recorded documentation in a format approved by the City Manager. The cameras shall be in use 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The areas to be covered by the security cameras include, but are not limited to, the storage areas, cultivation areas, all doors and windows, and any other areas as determined by the City Manager.

b. The lease/business space shall be alarmed with a reliable, commercial alarm system that is operated and monitored by a security company or alarm business that is operating in full compliance with Chapter 5.02 of this Code.

c. Entrance to the dispensing area and any storage areas shall be locked at all times, and under the control of cooperative staff.

d. The business entrance(s) and all window areas shall be illuminated during evening hours. The applicant shall comply with the City’s lighting standards regarding fixture type, wattage, illumination levels, shielding, etc., and secure the necessary approvals and permits as needed.

e. All windows on the building that houses the cooperative or collective shall be appropriately secured and all marijuana securely stored.

5. The name and address of any person who is managing or responsible for the Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective’s activities, and the names and addresses of any employees, if any, and a statement as to whether such person or persons has or have been convicted of a crime(s), the nature of such offense(s), and the sentence(s) received for such conviction(s).

6. The name and address of the owner and lessor of the real property upon which the business is to be conducted. In the event the applicant is not the legal owner of the property, the application must be accompanied with a notarized acknowledgement from the owner of the property that a Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective will be operated on his/her property.

7. Authorization for the City Manager to seek verification of the information contained within the application.

8. Evidence that the cooperative or collective is organized as a bona fide non-profit cooperative, affiliation, association, or collective of persons comprised exclusively and entirely of qualified patients and the primary caregivers of those patients in strict accordance with the Compassionate Use Act.

9. A statement in writing by the applicant that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that all the information contained in the application is true and correct.

10. Any such additional and further information as is deemed necessary by the City Manager to administer this Section.

H. The City Manager shall conduct a background check of any applicant for a regulatory permit, including any person who is managing or is otherwise responsible for the activities of the cooperative or collective, and any employee, and shall prepare a report on the acceptability of the applicant’s background and the suitability of the proposed location. Upon completing the review process, the regulatory permit shall be deemed a qualified application subject to the final certification and approval by the City Council pursuant to the allotment process, unless the City Manager finds that the applicant:

1. Has made one or more false or misleading statements, or omissions on the application or during the application process; or

2. The proposed cooperative or collective is not allowed by state or local law, statue, ordinance, or regulation, including this Code, at a particular location.

3. Is not a Primary Caregiver or Qualified Patient or the legal representative of the cooperative or collective; or

4. The applicant, or any person who is managing or is otherwise responsible for the activities of the cooperative or collective, or any employee, if any, has been convicted of a felony, or convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or the illegal use, possession, transportation, distribution or similar activities related to controlled substances, with the exception of marijuana related offenses for which the conviction occurred prior to passage of Compassionate Use Act. A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere.

5. The applicant. Or any person who is managing or is otherwise responsible for the activities of the cooperative or collective has engaged in unlawful, fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive business acts or practices.

Based on the information set forth in the application and the City Manager’s report, the City Manager, or the City Council pursuant to the allotment process, may impose reasonable terms and conditions on the proposed operations in addition to those specified in this Section. A regulatory permit issued pursuant to this Section is not transferable.

I. The City Manager will accept applications for Medical Cannabis Cooperatives or Collectives during a ninety (90) day period commencing on the effective date of this Section. Such ninety (90) day time period plus an additional thirty (30) days to complete the reviews and the preparation of the reports called for in this Section shall be considered the “Application Period.” In the event there is no more than one qualified application for each unallocated regulatory permit for a medical cannabis collective or cooperative as allowed under Subsection (F) determined to be conditionally qualified by the City Manager, the City Manager shall refer each such application to the City Council with a recommendation that the City Council approve the issuance of a regulatory permit to the applicants, subject to full compliance with the provisions of this Section and any conditions of approval. In the event there are more than one applications submitted for each unallocated regulatory permit for a medical cannabis collective or cooperative as allowed under Subsection (F) during the Application Period, the City Manager shall submit the qualified applications and the City Manager report on each application to the City Council for review and consideration. The qualified applications shall be considered concurrently by the City Council at a public hearing noticed and conducted pursuant to the provisions of Section 94.02.00.C of this Code. The City Council shall consider the qualified applications after evaluating the applications on their respective merits and the City Council may conditionally approve each qualified application or deny one or more of such applications if the Council makes one or more of the findings listed in Subsection H. The City Council shall rank all qualified applications in order of those that best satisfy the requirements of this Section and provide the highest level of service and opportunities for residents of Palm Springs. The highest ranked qualified applications equal to the number of available regulatory permits shall be granted regulatory permits pursuant to this Section.

J. The obligations of the Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective, including all on-going and continuing obligations required pursuant to any provision of this Section or as may be provided in any conditional approval of the City Manager or the City Council, shall be set forth in a covenant running with the land or the leasehold interest, approved as to form by the City Attorney, and enforceable by the City. Such covenant shall also provide that the cooperative or collective shall annually provide to the City Manager an updated application containing the information contained in Subsection G. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the City shall not assume any liability whatsoever, and expressly does not waive sovereign immunity, with respect to medical cannabis, or for the activities of any Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective. Upon receiving possession of a regulatory permit as provided in this Section, the collective or cooperative shall:

1. Execute an agreement indemnifying the City;

2. Carry insurance in the amounts and of the types that are acceptable to the City Manager;

3. Name the City as an additionally insured;

4. Agree to defend at its sole expense, any action against the City, its agents, officers, and employees because of the issues of such approval;

5. Agree to reimburse the City for any court costs and attorney fees that the City may be required to pay as a result of such action. The City may, at its sole discretion, participate at its own expense in the defense of any such action, but such participation shall not relieve the operator of its obligation hereunder.

K. No persons shall engage in, conduct, or be permitted to engage in or conduct a Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective (“cooperative”) unless each of the following requirements is continually met:

1. The cooperative or collective shall comply fully with all of the applicable restrictions and mandates set forth in state law, including without limitation the Attorney General Guidelines.

2. The cooperative shall only be open between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

3. Physician’s referrals shall be verified by the cooperative prior to inclusion into the cooperative and at least every six months thereafter.

4. Each member of the cooperative or collective shall be a patient or a qualified primary caregiver. The cooperative shall maintain patient records in a secure location within the City of Palm Springs, available to the City Manager to review upon demand. Such records shall include without limitation a copy of the physician’s referral and, if using a primary caregiver, a notarized written authorization from the patient to be represented by such primary caregiver.

5. Cannabis shall be kept in a secured manner during business and nonbusiness hours.

6. Each cooperative or collective that prepares, dispenses, or in any manner distributes food must comply with the provisions of all relevant State and local laws regarding the preparation, distribution, and sale of food.

7. No cooperative or collective shall conduct or engage in the commercial sale of any product, good, or service. All transactions between the cooperative or collective and its members or the members’ primary caregivers shall be made by check or credit card; no cash transactions shall be allowed.

8. Any Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective must pay any applicable sales tax pursuant to federal, state, and local law.

9. On-site smoking, ingestion, or consumption of cannabis or alcohol shall be prohibited on the premises of the cooperative or collective. The term “premises” as used in this Subsection includes the actual building, as well as any accessory structures and parking areas. The building entrance to a cooperative or collective shall be clearly and legibly posted with a notice indicating that smoking, ingesting, or consuming marijuana on the premises or in the vicinity of the cooperative or collective is prohibited.

10. Signage for the cooperative or collective shall be limited to name of business and its status as a permitted cooperative or collective pursuant to this Section only and no advertising of the goods and/or services shall be permitted. Each cooperative or collective shall post a sign or notice conspicuously at each point of public access into the cooperative or collective stating that the cooperative or collective is a permitted cooperative or collective under the provisions of this Section.

11. Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold, stored, distributed, or consumed on the premises. A cooperative or collective shall not hold or maintain a license from the State Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to sell alcoholic beverages, or operate a business that sells alcoholic beverages. In addition, alcohol shall not be provided, stored, kept, located, sold, dispensed, or used on the premises of the cooperative or collective.

12. Except as provided in Subsection G-4, windows and/or entrances shall not be obstructed and must maintain a clear view into the premises during business hours.

13. No one under eighteen (18) years of age shall be a member of a cooperative or a collective without written authorization of a parent or legal guardian.

14. Physician services shall not be provided on the premises. “Physician services” does not include social services, including counseling, help with housing and meals, hospice and other care referrals which may be provided on site.

15. The building in which the cooperative or collective is located as well as the operations as conducted therein shall fully comply with all applicable rules, regulations, and laws including, but not limited to, zoning and building codes, the City’s business license ordinances, the Revenue and Taxation Code, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Compassionate Use Act.

16. The cooperative or collective shall not distribute, sell, dispense, or administer cannabis to anyone other than qualified patient members of the cooperative or collective and their primary caregivers.

17. A Medical Marijuana Cooperative or Collective shall distribute only cannabis cultivated on the premises or by a member of the cooperative or collective or the member’s primary caregiver. The cooperative or collective shall do an inventory on the first business day of each month and shall record the total quantity of each form of cannabis on the premises. These records shall be maintained for two (2) years from the date created.

18. Provide the City Manager with the name, phone number, facsimile number, and email address of an on-site community relations or staff person or other representative to whom one can provide notice if there are operating problems associated with the Cooperative. The Cooperative shall make every good faith effort to encourage residents to call this person to try to solve operating problems, if any, before any calls or complaints are made to the police or planning departments.

19. Fully comply with and meet all operating criteria required pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act, state law, the Attorney General Guidelines, the provisions of the Palm Springs Municipal Code, including without limitation, this Section, and any specific, additional operating procedures and measures as may be imposed as conditions of approval of the regulatory permit, and all requirements set forth in the covenant as described in Subsection J, in order to ensure that the operation of the cooperative or collective is consistent with the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the community, qualified patients, and primary caregivers, and will not adversely affect surrounding uses.

L. Enforcement of Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective Permits.

1. Recordings made by the security cameras shall be made available to the City Manager upon verbal request; no search warrant or subpoena shall be needed to view the recorded materials.

2. The City Manager shall have the right to enter the Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective from time to time unannounced for the purpose of making reasonable inspections to observe and enforce compliance with this Section and all laws of the City and State of California.

3. Operation of the cooperative or collective in non-compliance with any conditions of approval or standards of this Section shall constitute a violation of the Municipal Code and shall be enforced pursuant to the provisions of this Code.

4. The City Manager may revoke a medical cannabis regulatory permit if any of the following, singularly or in combination, occur:

a. The City Manager determines that the cooperative or collective has failed to comply with any provision of this Code, any condition or approval, or any agreement or covenant as required pursuant to this Section; or

b. Operations cease for more than 90 calendar days, including during change of ownership proceedings; or

c. Ownership is changed without securing a regulatory permit; or

d. The cooperative or collective fails to maintain 120 continuous hours of security recordings; or

e. The cooperative or collective fails to allow inspection of the security recordings, the activity logs, or of the premise by authorized City officials.

5. Any decision regarding the approval, conditional approval, denial, or revocation of a regulatory permit may be appealed to the City Council. Said appeal shall be made by a notice of appeal from the person appealing within thirty (30) days from the date of the decision. The appeal shall be accompanied by a fee, which shall be established by resolution of the City Council amended from time to time, and a written, verified declaration setting forth the basis for the claim that the permit was improperly approved, denied, conditioned or revoked. Filing of an appeal shall suspend the issuance of all regulatory permits until action is taken on the appeal.

M. In the event a qualified cooperative or collective that receives an allotment under Subsection I of this Section ceases to operate for any reason, the City Manager may or shall reopen the allotment process and provide an opportunity for new applications to be submitted. The time periods and process provided in Subsection I shall be applied to the review and consideration of applications and the allotment of a regulatory permit. The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply in those situations where the City Council has reviewed qualified applications within three (3) years of a previous Allotment Process and the City Council decides to limit its review to one (1) or more qualified applications reviewed and considered during such previous Allotment Process.

N. Abatement Orders and Civil Penalties.

1. Any person, partnership, association, corporation, fiduciary, or other entity that owns, leases, occupies, controls, or manages any building, property, or occupancy and causes, permits, or maintains a violation of the provisions of this Section, including without limitation the provisions of Subsections A and B hereof, or that falsely claims in any advertising of any kind, including without limitation, signs or handbills, that such person, association, corporation, fiduciary, or other entity is permitted as a medical cannabis cooperative or collective in the City, shall be subject to an abatement order issued pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection and shall be liable for administrative penalties as follows:

(a) Each party subject to an abatement order pursuant to this Subsection, as determined by the City Manager, shall pay an administrative penalty of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars.

(b) In the event that a violation of this Section addressed by an abatement order has not been abated, cured, remedied, and/or eliminated to the reasonable satisfaction the City Manager by the tenth (10th) day after the issuance of the abatement order, each party subject to said abatement order shall pay a supplemental administrative penalty of two thousand five hundred ($2,500.00) dollars.

(c) In the event that a violation of this Section addressed by an abatement order has not been abated, cured, remedied and/or eliminated to the reasonable satisfaction of the City Manager by the thirtieth (30th) day after the issuance of an abatement order, each party subject to said abatement order shall pay a second supplemental administrative penalty of five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars for each calendar week, or portion thereof, the building and/or occupancy thereof is in violation of the provisions of this Section.

2. The City Manager may issue an Abatement Order for violations of the provisions of this Section. The Abatement Order shall contain:

(a) The street address and assessor’s parcel number of the premises on which the building or structure is located, sufficient for identification;

(b) Reference to all code sections violated with a brief and concise description of the conditions found;

(c) A statement of the required action to permanently correct outstanding violations;

(d) A statement enumerating the action that can be taken by the City should the responsible party or parties fail to comply with the terms and deadlines as prescribed in the Abatement Order.

(e) A statement advising that any person having any record title or interest in the building may appeal Abatement Order served, provided the appeal is made in writing, pursuant to and within the time frames provided in this Subsection. Failure to file an appeal in accordance with this Subsection shall constitute a waiver of the right to an administrative hearing and adjudication of the Abatement Order or any portion thereof.

3. The Abatement Order, or any amended Abatement Order, shall be served on the following parties:

(a) The record owner of the property; and,

(b) The holder of a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien on the property, if recorded or otherwise actually known to the City Manager at the time the Abatement Order is served.

(c) If different than (1) or (2) above, the tenant of any building or structure or the operator of any marijuana or cannabis dispensary activity within such building or structure.

4. Service shall be completed in the following manner:

(a) Posting of the Abatement Order conspicuously on or in front of the property and at each point of public access into the building or structure. It is a misdemeanor to remove or deface any Abatement Order posted on the property.

(b) Simultaneously, the same notice shall be sent by regular mail and certified mail (return receipt requested). If a notice that is sent by certified mail is returned unsigned, then service shall be deemed effective pursuant to regular mail, provided the notice that was sent by regular mail is not returned. Service by certified or regular mail in the manner described above shall be effective on the date of mailing; or

(c) Personal service;

(d) If the City Manager is unable to effectively serve the Abatement Order as provided in this Subsection, the City Manager may publish the Abatement Order in a newspaper of general circulation (as defined in Govt. Code § 6000), published in this jurisdiction. Publication of the Abatement Order pursuant to this Subsection shall be for five (5) days. The period of notice commences upon the first day of publication and terminates at the end of the fifth day, including therein the first day. Publication shall be made on each day on which the newspaper is published during the period. Service is deemed complete on the last day of publication.

5. The failure of any person with an interest in the property to receive any notice served in accordance with this Subsection shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this Section.

6. Proof of service of the Notice and Order shall be documented at the time of service by a declaration under penalty of perjury, executed by the person effecting service, declaring the time and manner in which service was made. If service is effectuated by certified mail, the declaration, together with any receipt card returned in acknowledgment of receipt by certified mail, shall be affixed to the copy of the Notice and Order retained by the Building Official.

7. Upon receipt of an Abatement Order, each responsible party must take one of the following actions to avoid additional penalties:

(a) Correct the violation, pay the corresponding fine(s), if any, and contact the City Manager to request a re-inspection, prior to the compliance date specified in the abatement order; or

(b) Request a hearing to appeal the Abatement Order pursuant to Paragraph 8 of this Subsection N.

8. A responsible party receiving an Abatement Order may appeal such order within seven (7) calendar days from the date the Abatement Order is deemed served.

(a) The appeal must be in writing and must indicate the appellant’s full name and mailing address. It must be accompanied by the penalty amount and appeal fee which shall be set by resolution of the City Council, must specify the basis for the appeal in detail, and must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office. If the appeal deadline falls on a day City Hall is closed, then the deadline shall be extended until the next regular business day.

(b) As soon as practicable after receiving the written notice of appeal, the City Manager shall fix a date, time, and place for the hearing before a hearing officer pursuant to the provisions of Section 1.06.060 of this Code. Written notice of the time and place for the hearing may be served by first class mail, at the mailing address indicated on the written appeal. Service of the appeal notice must be made at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the date of the hearing to the party appealing the administrative citation.

(c) The failure of any person with an interest in the property, or other responsible party, to receive such properly addressed notice of the hearing shall not affect the validity of any proceedings under this Section. Service by first class mail, postage prepaid shall be effective on the date of mailing.

(d) Failure of any responsible party to file an appeal in accordance with the provisions of this Section shall constitute a waiver of that responsible party’s rights to administrative determination of the merits of the Abatement Order and the amount of the penalty. If no appeal is filed, the Abatement Order shall be deemed a final administrative order and a failure to exhaust the responsible party’s administrative remedies.

9. At any time after the Abatement Order becomes final, the City Council may cause the Abatement Order and a notice of lien to be recorded with the County Recorder. The final Abatement Order and lien shall, at a minimum, identify the record owner and/or possessor of the property and set forth the last known address of the record owner and/or possessor, the date on which the penalty was imposed, a description of the real property subject to the lien, and the amount of the penalty.

10. This Subsection provides a civil penalty remedy that is in addition to all other legal remedies, criminal or civil, which may be pursued by the City Manager or the City Attorney to address any violation of this Section. The civil penalty imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be in lieu of the administrative citation penalties imposed pursuant to the provisions of Section 1.06.040 of this Code. (Ord. 1812 §§ 4—6, 2012; Ord. 1811 §§ 2—4, 2012; Ord. 1805 § 3, 2012; Ord. 1804 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1799 § 2, 2011; Ord. 1758 § 5, 2009)


Definitions

Definitions for medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives are established in Palm Springs Municipal Code Sec. 91.00.10.

“Medical Cannabis” and “Medical Marijuana” are defined in strict accordance with California Health and Safety Code sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 et seq.

“Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective” means five or more qualified patients and caregivers who collectively or cooperatively cultivate and share physician-recommended cannabis or marijuana in a manner strictly consistent with the Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use issued August 2008, by the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California, as may be amended from time to time (“Attorney General Guidelines”), on file in the Office of the City Clerk.

The term “Medical Cannabis Cooperative or Collective” shall not include dispensing by primary caregivers to qualified patients in the following locations and uses: a clinic licensed pursuant to Chapter 1 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a health care facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illness licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.01 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a residential care facility for the elderly licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.2 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; a residential hospice; or a home health agency licensed pursuant to Chapter 8 of Division 2 of Health and Safety Code, as long as such use complies strictly with applicable law including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Code sections 11362.5 and 11362.7 et. seq., or the cultivation, storage, or use by a qualified patient or patients or that patient’s or patients’ primary caregiver or caregivers, incidental to a residential use by, and for the sole use of, the patient or patients who reside at such residential use location.



Taxes

Palm Springs voters approved Measure B on November 5, 2013, by a 2-1 margin. The cannabis ballot measure imposes a 15 percent tax on all sales at cannabis collectives.

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF PALM SPRINGS ORDAINS:

SECTION 1. Chapter 3.35 is added to the Palm Springs Municipal Code to read:

CANNABIS AND MARIJUANA TAX

3.35.010 Imposition of Tax.
3.35.020 Definitions.
3.35.030 Payment Obligation.
3.35.040 City Council Authorization to Adjust Rates.
3.35.050 Payment of Tax Does Not Authorize Activity.
3.35.060 Cannabis and Marijuana Tax Is Not a Sales Tax.
3.35.070 Amendments and Administration.

3.35.010 Imposition of Tax.
Every person engaged in operating or otherwise conducting a cannabis or marijuana collective, and regardless of whether such collective has a permit pursuant to Section 9.23.15 of this Code, shall pay a cannabis and marijuana tax of 15 cents for each $1.00 of proceeds or fractional part thereof.

3.35.020 Definitions.
For purposes of this Chapter.
A. A “cannabis or marijuana collective” means any activity regulated or permitted by Section 9.23.15 of this Code, or California Health and Safety Code sections 11362.5, et seq., as may be amended from time to time, or any other activity or business that involves planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting, dispensing, delivering, providing, manufacturing, compounding, converting, processing, preparing, storing, packaging, or testing any part of the marijuana plant for medical purposes.
B. “Proceeds” means gross receipts of any kind, including without limitation, membership dues; the value of in-kind contributions; reimbursements provided by members regardless of form; any payments made; and anything else of value obtained by a cannabis or marijuana collective.

3.35.030 Payment Obligation.
All taxpayers subject to this Chapter must pay the full tax imposed by this Chapter regardless of any rebate, exemption, incentive, or other reduction set forth elsewhere in this Code, except as required by California or Federal Law. Failure to pay the tax shall be subject to penalties, interest charges, and assessments as the City Council may establish and the City may use any or all other code enforcement remedies provided in the Charter and this Code. No provision in this Code can lower the tax rate set forth in this Section or otherwise reduce the amount of taxes paid hereunder unless the provision specifically states that the reduction applies.

3.35.040. City Council Authorization to Adjust Rates.
The City Council may impose the tax authorized by this Chapter at a lower rate and may establish exemptions, incentives, or other reductions, and penalties and interest charges or assessments for failure to pay the tax in a timely manner, as otherwise allowed by the Charter and California law. No action by the Council under this Section shall prevent it from later increasing the tax or removing any exemption, incentive, or reduction, and restoring the maximum tax specified in this Chapter.

3.35.050 Payment of Tax Does Not Authorize Activity.
The payment of the tax required pursuant to this Chapter shall not be construed as authorizing the conduct or continuance of any illegal business or of a legal business in an illegal manner. Nothing in this Chapter implies or authorizes that any activity connected with the distribution or possession of cannabis is legal unless otherwise authorized and allowed in strict and full conformance to the provisions of this Code, including without limitation the provisions of Section 9.23.15. Nothing in this Chapter shall be applied or construed as authorizing the sale of marijuana.

3.35.060 Cannabis and Marijuana Tax Is Not a Sales Tax.
The Cannabis and Marijuana Tax provided for under the provisions of this Chapter is not a Sales or Use Tax and shall not be calculated or assessed as such. The Cannabis and Marijuana Tax shall not be separately identified or otherwise specifically assessed or charged to any member, patient, or caretaker.

3.35.070 Amendments and Administration.
A. This Chapter was submitted to the voters for approval. Any amendment to Section 3.35.010 to increase the Tax above the rate expressly provided in such Section shall not become effective until such amendment is approved by the voters. The voters expressly authorize the City Council to amend, modify, change, or revise any other provision of this Chapter as the City Council deems in the best interest of the City.

B. The City Manager or the City Manager’s designee shall promulgate rules, regulations, and procedures to implement and administer this Chapter to ensure the efficient and timely collection of the tax imposed by this Chapter, including without limitation, formulation and implementation of penalties and interest to be assessed for failure to pay the tax as provided.

C. The City Manager or the City Manager’s designee shall annually audit the cannabis and marijuana taxes imposed by this Chapter to verify that tax revenues have been properly expended in accordance with the law.

D. Pursuant to California Constitution Article XIIIB, the appropriation limit for the City is increased to the maximum extent over the maximum period of time allowed under law consistent with the revenues generated by the cannabis and marijuana tax.

SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall become effective upon adoption by a majority of the voters casting votes at the general municipal election on November 5, 2013.


Medical cannabis cultivation

The city of Palm Springs does not have any current regulations regarding personal cultivation of medical cannabis. Because this is a rapidly evolving area of law, many California cities and counties are expected to pass cannabis cultivation laws in coming months. General information about state cannabis laws can be found in the Cal NORML guide for patients.

When local regulations do arrive, they tend to do so quickly. Local cannabis patients caregivers may wish to monitor the Palm Springs City Council agendas to ensure they have a voice in developing reasonable cannabis cultivation laws in Palm Springs.